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Bob Bledsoe
IU Writers' Conference

Last modified: Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Reading by Susan Gubar highlights 72nd annual IU Writers' Conference

May 30, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A highlight of the 72nd annual Indiana University Writers' Conference will be a reading by Professor Emerita Susan Gubar from her new book, "Memoir of a Debulked Woman: Enduring Ovarian Cancer."

Gubar image

Susan Gubar

The book was recently described by The New York Times as "at once a memoir, a review of sobering medical facts, a compilation of cancer reminiscences and of descriptions of illness in literature and art -- delivered in a voice that is intelligent, feminist and devastatingly honest." The Wall Street Journal declared it "exquisitely written." Fellow author Joyce Carol Oates called the text "an extraordinary testament to the human spirit."

Gubar, who taught at IU for more than 36 years, is co-author of "The Madwoman in the Attic" and co-editor of "The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women." She is a Distinguished Professor Emerita and Ruth N. Halls Professor Emerita, and received the 2010 President's Medal for Excellence. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008, Gubar details her experiences fighting the disease in her memoir.

The reading begins at 8 p.m. Monday, June 4, at the Bloomington Playwrights' Project, 107 W. Ninth St. In addition to Gubar will be readings by her oncologist and friend Daniela Matei, a poet whose works Gubar had translated from Romanian. Free and open to the public, the reading will be followed by a Q-and-A with audience members.

"I am thrilled that Professor Gubar will read at the conference this year," conference director Bob Bledsoe said. "She has so much to teach writers about the craft and the process of writing, and her beautiful memoir is an extraordinary example."

Held June 3 to 8 on the Bloomington campus, the Indiana University Writers' Conference is a weeklong festival of readings, classes and workshops.

Workshops include "Writing the Unthinkable" with fiction writer and cartoonist Lynda Barry, which details the method she's used for more than 30 years to write stories by hand; a fiction workshop with author Jean Thompson; and a poetry workshop by Florida State University associate professor Erin Belieu; as well as classes in journal-making and mystery writing.

Space is still available for all workshops and classes. The cost to attend a workshop plus all of the classes is $550 for the week; the classes-only fee is $300. For IU students, the cost is $100 for classes only.

For more information or to register, visit